Starting out, before we can get into what an SME should be focusing on when redesigning their site, we first need to establish why an SME should be redesigning their site and how to tell if your site is in need of a refresh.Redesigning a website to be more user-friendly and aesthetically pleasing can increase the success of a website a hundred times over (See Niebler, 2015: 4 Great Reasons to Redesign Your Website).So, what should you be looking for when deciding if your website needs a makeover?
Nowadays the modern consumer expects not only an online presence from business and brands but an optimised, well designed website (See Taylor, 2012: Building a Business Website: A Small Business Guide). This is unfortunately no longer a job that can just be delegated to the technical department as Thelwell (2000) states that website design should be viewed as a business task as opposed to a technical task due to the design needing to match the needs of the company. According to Misourri Institute of Science and Technology (2012) it takes under two tenths of a second for a visitor to form an opinion of the website and, by association, the brand itself.
Dreamweaver is a powerful IDE (see Glossary) that web designers use to edit code and build websites, however, at £14.29 a month excl. VAT (as of 29/04/15) it is an expensive investment that some designers are not willing to pay. Instead, there are a number of similar alternatives that offer the same capabilities and are free to use.
Having investigated a number of different programs I have compiled this list of my Top 5 Free Alternatives to Dreamweaver. It must be noted that this is a list of personal preference, as I’m sure some readers will disagree with my choices, nevertheless, this list is intended to be a quick summary of great programs and what they offer.
With the increasing of competition within e-commerce has loaded to one big problem for consumer which is choice overload. Have you ever had so many products to choices from but you don’t know which one to choose, therefore, you end up not making a decision or choice? Well, that is choice overload!!!
In Schwartz (2004) famous book “Nudge” he said “consumers have always had choices, but today options have exploded beyond all reason”. Many researches into e-commerce have proved that choice overload is paralysis issue that is pushing people away from online shopping to the high street, where choice overload is less. The last thing e-marketer would want is a consumer visiting their website and not making a purchase due to choice load. This brings me to the question what are e-marketers doing to the cure this choice paralysis that we consumers are facing online?
via okow10’s blog.
According to Mohan, for web pages, it is best that the social media icons are placed at the top of the page in the header region that is most clicked, viewed and used by the visitor. Essentially, it would be useless for the icons to be placed at the bottom of the webpage, when most customers would probably have given up finding the icons by then. Elucidated by the middle image in the eyetracking study (below), the dominant reading pattern on a website is in the shape of an F. The user as demonstrated by the image below, reads the whole of the beginning section, skims to the middle where it is read fully, and leaves the webpage briefly skimming the last section. The heat map sensor on the image portrays that the dark red areas indicate the most looked areas.
What does an Effective CTA look like? Is the CTA on your website effective? Does it successfully draw the attention of your buyers? Where should it be placed? Above the fold? Below the fold? At the bottom of the page: using AIDA? Embedded in an amongst all the clutter on your website?
A Call To Action (a.ka. CTA) is a button or a link that is placed on a website that aims to drive prospective customers to fill out a form, buy the product or book a service. It is usually the link between the normal content on your site that your customer has visited to find, and a landing page with some incredible offers on it that is interesting enough to drive your customers to complete a short form (Hubspot Academy, 2014). They are actions that would persuade a customer to, book a service, make an appointment or gain a free consultation.
How many times have you been scrolling on a website wanting to go onto their website and you cannot find their social media Icons? Then all of a sudden you’re your almost at the point of giving up, to your surprise you find the icons nestled at the bottom of the webpage. It is clear that most websites are doing it all wrong.
Social media now represents a widespread source of information; it has fundamentally changed the tools and strategies that companied use to communicate with its customer, elucidating that the roles between the company and the consumer are now reversed as control now lies with the customers (Mangold & Faulds 2009). Depicted through various studies, 93% of social media users now believe that companies should have precedence on social media websites, whilst 85% of users also believe that companies should interact with customers via Social Networking Systems (Michealidou & Siamagka & Christodoulides 2011).
With each generation comes a new look and feel. Originally websites were heavily text based but as time goes on images and adaptability have become more prominent. Users are no longer happy to consume pages of static text. Preferences have changed to content that lends itself to readability – something that guides the eye lodically around the page, is intuitive and changes it’s layout for a smartphone, tablet or monitor etc.
Here are 7 things a modern website requires to look and feel great for a consumer.
This blog sets out to illustrate the basic rules of design, applying them to the web, the key trends of 2015 that brands will need to consider, and finally some simple tips on what to avoid!
Miller (2014) asserts that the very backbone of design success rests on the balance and symmetry of the site. The site must have proper framing allowing for a consistent white space, this contrast should allow the user with the ability to discern between subject and background.
The site should stay within your brand guidelines and be consistent with such guidelines. The issue here is that if this is a fairly unknown or new brand, who hasn’t really created any guidelines or a set feel yet this will be increasingly difficult. And also say that your brand has a bright colour scheme this may not be wise as in a study undertaken in 2014, Lake assessed that the use of bright colours was actually a reason for internet users not trusting a site. So perhaps a good alternative would be to have a toned down colour scheme relating to your brand.
The first reason to consider is the increasing number of competitors that e-commerce now receives making quality web design paramount (Ghandour et al, 2010). DeLone and McLean (2003) maintain that a further reason for careful consideration of web design is that quality of the site will affect subsequent use, which in term determines benefits accrued the organization. Epstein (2004) asserts that the further benefits from good web-design are channel optimization, cost saving, customer loyalty and retention. However, you’ll have to keep in mind that if your business is offering a poor product good web design isn’t going to ensure all the sales in the world because customers simply may not want to purchase the product. Yet superb web design may be able to facilitate a way for sales to be made.
Not only this but studies have proven than content is actually less important than design for building trust with your audience. Briggs et al (2004) found that 94% of internet users said that web design was more important than the content on the site, with only 6% of users disagreeing. It’s clearly quite important, had that study been undertaken now where poor web design plagues the web a considerable lot less than in 2004 due to ever increasing technology the results may have been different. However, the point that remains is that web design and content go hand in hand, a visitor wont want to ready your sites content if the site in question is poor, and on the dame token, if the content is poor then the users probably wont care for how nicely the sites designed (Hendricks, 2015).